Transient use of Layered Athena is when a non-privileged user of a workstation temporarily uses parts of Athena without permanently modifying the workstation. While not all parts (or even any) of Athena may be usable from any given workstation, where possible we would like to allow users to get at software.
While this could be a useful option, it is not practical to implement it at this time. Root privileges are necessary to initially mount the system pack. Most workstations would not have a /mit directory for attach to use. It has been said, ``attach is Athena.'' Since attach is so problematical, it is probably not worth doing this at all, at least for the time being.
Some services require minor changes to be able to run without any changes to the local filesystem. These changes are still useful without ``transient use,'' as they make the Athena software more forgiving of configuration errors. These changes are outlined in the following section.